Unleash the Leader in a Girl

by The Mariposa DR Foundation
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl
Unleash the Leader in a Girl

Project Report | Oct 6, 2023
Empowering Girls = Fighting Climate Change

By Jessica Lawson | Co-founder

Our Mariposas are fighting climate change.
Our Mariposas are fighting climate change.

Environmental education is central to our programming at Mariposa. The Dominican Republic is an island nation where the effects of climate change greatly impact day to day life and adolescent girls living in poverty are most vulnerable. Hurricanes, severe storms, floods, droughts, earthquakes and other climate events cause disruptions to their education as they are often pulled out of school to shoulder additional domestic responsibilities in times of extreme hardship. This directly increases their risk of early marriage and childbirth.

Starting in sixth grade, all Mariposas participate in our signature Riverkeepers program, where they become stewards of the nearby La Yásica river and learn how to promote ocean health. The girls get out on the water as much as possible to learn about their local waterways through snorkeling trips, catamaran tours, nature hikes, stand up paddling, weather journaling and beach cleanups. They learn about sources of freshwater, the local flora and fauna and the threats to their ecosystems including agricultural runoff, deforestation, human waste, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, damming, overfishing, fires, drought, and gravel/sand removal. 

By experiencing nature firsthand, they create a deeper connection with the earth and become fierce protectors of their environment. These experiences also translate into better daily habits like reducing single use plastic waste and being diligent about composting. Most importantly, they become climate conscious leaders in their families and communities.

Cabarete is a rapidly developing town that is surrounded by water. With lagoons and natural springs as a backdrop, ocean views in the front, and neighboring rivers creating a water wonderland. Waterways are our most valuable natural resource and most prominent ecosystems. Due to tremendous growth in tourism, these natural resources are suffering and most people living in poverty in this community do not understand the devastating impact this will have on their livelihood if these trends continue and the local environment is not preserved.

As the most vulnerable population, adolescent girls are also the most powerful force for effective change. As environmental educators they will be able to educate their entire community on the importance of preserving the waterway ecosystems. As Cabarete residents and members of Mariposa, they have access to an enormous international audience with the potential to positively contribute to preservation efforts. 

Because of your support, we are able to create this in-depth environmental education program and create space for girls to experience, love and protect the natural environment. Helping us empower the Mariposa girls to grow into more conscious adults means you’re also directly helping to fight climate change. 

These girls are changing the future of their community and we couldn’t do it without you.

Snorkeling in Sosua Bay.
Snorkeling in Sosua Bay.
Beach cleanup.
Beach cleanup.
Stand up paddling on La Yasica River.
Stand up paddling on La Yasica River.

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Organization Information

The Mariposa DR Foundation

Location: Ithaca, NY - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jessica Lawson
Cabarete , Dominican Republic

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